Times Square Hits US Cable TV, October 1981


Robin Johnson's head shot for TIMES SQUARE, in costume as Nicky Marotta, photographed by Yoram Kahana, printed in 1981 for the film's showings on The Movie Channel. Text: THE MOVIE CHANNEL ROBIN JOHNSON is an uninhibited product of the streets who sets New York City on edge as a wild runaway from authority in "Times Square." See it in October on THE MOVIE CHANNEL.
ROBIN JOHNSON is an uninhibited product of the streets who sets New York City on edge as a wild runaway from authority in “Times Square.” See it in October on THE MOVIE CHANNEL.


A year after its brief run in theaters, Times Square made it to HBO, and I watched it every single time it ran. This was before my family had a VCR, but my dad had access to a Sony Porta-Pak open-reel video recorder, and I recorded the movie across four reels, during four broadcasts, in glorious black-and-white, and watched it many times over the next few years, until I went off to college and the Porta-Pak went back to wherever it came from. I do still have the reels, but nothing to play them them on, assuming there’s still a signal on them. There’s a slim possibility that the American trailer is also on one of those reels: it was used to promote the movie on HBO, and I remember poring over the movie every time I saw it wondering how I kept missing the scene where Nicky and Pammy were splashing each other in the river.

The only thing inaccurate about the above is, although I and everybody else I’ve spoken to who also watched those cable screenings remember vividly that it was on HBO, the only evidence I’ve ever found indicates that it was actually The Movie Channel. And so far, I’m also the only one willing to admit that my memory may be faulty on that one detail. Times Square fans can be obstinate.

This photo is TS-57-26/1 from the US Press Material folder, with The Movie Channel’s logo replacing AFD’s on the now slightly expanded white border. The caption is edited from the one supplied with that photo, over a year before. After all the variants and previously unseen promotional photos that came out as Times Square was released around the world, its television debut was promoted with one of the first shots ever released.



[TS-57-26 Movie Channel variant]
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
US, 1981 ; 8″ x 10″ (work)
1981-10 Head shot Movie Channel variant_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 865 px (W), 96 dpi, 345 kb (image)


Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


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